Keep Averill Park Elementary Schools Departmentalized

Keep Averill Park Elementary Schools Departmentalized

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Kassandra Edinger started this petition to Superintendent, Averill Park Central School District Dr. James Franchini and

The purpose of this petition is to ask you to maintain the departmentalization model used by Averill Park elementary schools for fourth and fifth grade. Using this model, students have a different teacher for different subject areas. This is a benefit for students, who have the opportunity to learn from educators that are highly trained and passionate about their subject areas. This passion and high level of interest is passed on to their students and allows the classroom to really dig deeply into different subjects. All Averill Park elementary schools have used this model of education for fourth and fifth grade over the past several years. Some schools in the district have been using a form of departmentalization for nearly fifty years. We are asking you to keep this successful model in place. 

A major concern with the switch to self-contained classrooms is the impact it will have on science and social studies education. Currently, students in departmentalized schools spend 90 minutes on ELA, 90 minutes on math, 60 minutes on science every other day, and 60 minutes on social studies every other day. The move to self-contained classrooms will result in students spending 120 minutes on ELA, 90 minutes on math, 45 minutes on science every other day, and 45 minutes on social studies every other day. In other words, even more time will be spent on ELA, with even less time spent on science and social studies combined.  Unfortunately, with testing pressure focused on ELA and math, we are concerned that students will get even less than the allotted 45 minutes for science or social studies if there is not a clearly defined time slot for these important subjects.

Students in the departmentalized model also gain valuable experience in switching classes and learning about the different expectations that different teachers can have. This is important preparation for middle school, where students will need to learn to follow a schedule, navigate a new school, and have multiple teachers throughout the day. They also have the opportunity to engage with and form strong relationships with multiple adult figures.

A side benefit to switching classes is the opportunity for natural movement throughout the day while moving between rooms. This type of physical activity can help improve focus in children this age.

This year some schools have switched to self-contained classrooms while others are planning the move to be fully contained next year. We are asking Dr. Franchini and the Averill Park school board to please consider doing what is best for our students and keep our schools departmentalized for fourth and fifth grade so our  children can continue to reap these important benefits.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!